“The Lesson of the Lure of the Lost”
Parashah BALAK (Numbers 22:2-25:9) Week 40
“Balak the son of Tzippor was king of Mo’av at that time. He sent messengers to Bil’am the son of B’or, at P’tor by the (Euphrates) River in his native land, to tell him, “Listen, a people has come out of Egypt, spread over all the land and settled down next to me. Therefore, please come, and curse this people for me, because they are stronger than I am. Maybe I will be able to strike them down and drive them out of the land, for I know that whomever you bless is in fact blessed, and whomever you curse is in fact cursed.” (Numbers 22:5-6 CJB)
The Parashah begins within the context of a fearful Balak, the newly appointed King of Moav, who was formerly a well-known occultist from Midyan, the land of Moses’ exile. Balak seeks to manipulate the God of Israel to curse the Nation of Israel. Balak seeks to war against Israel in a spiritual battle, not in combat in the physical realm. Balak knows in war, the God of Israel commands the victory where the Nation of Israel is concerned. He has seen the effects of the favor of Adonai upon Israel in other wars. He therefore seeks Balaam, another occult magician, to collaborate with him to bring curses upon the Nation of Israel by manipulating the God of Israel. All this was in Balak’s plan, by means of a seven-fold sacrificial right used in idol worship.
As I ran and prayed over the tapestry for Parashah Balak, I felt dark undercurrents of the occult when recounting the chronicle of the falling away of Israel from Adonai. I spoke aloud of the sadness which accompanied the Nation’s fall from grace during the glorious days in the wilderness. Adonai loved and provided for His people gloriously, upholding His Covenant. On the heels of two victories overtaking the Covenant Land; they still fell into the dark abyss!
We see clearly in Parashah Balak, how Adonai can use one life, a man like Moses, to puncture His blueprint and weave the cord of His will into the tapestry of history. Yes, Adonai can use a holy vessel or a common one, to accomplish His good plans! We see this brilliantly as Adonai used Balaam, an enemy of the Nation of Israel, to bring blessings upon the Nation in lieu of curses, which was the plan of Balak, after all.
After three attempts to manipulate Adonai to curse the nation, Balak sends Balaam on his way. The spiritual warfare ended in utter defeat. How could he bring Israel to their knees another way?
Ahhh yes…they encamped very near Bael Peor! Ahhh yes…they might be caught off guard in their victory celebrations of two wars just won! Ahhh yes…they might be tempted by the lust of Bael worship, thereby cursing themselves. Bael worship would certainly bring a curse from Adonai. Ah ha!
This is the Lesson of the Lure of the Lost. I saw a vision as I ran and prayed, of Balak casting his lure out into the sea of the occult; first out onto the high place of Ba’al, with seven altars and seven sacrifices to Adonai, in the same place sacrifice was offered to the god of the culture of the day; Ba’al. Next, after defeat at Ba’al in this dark, spiritual war, I saw Balak cast another lure out into the sea of idol worship at the high peak of Pisgah and again, the curses Balak was warring for turned into blessings for the Nation of Israel. Then, the third attempt to cast his lure and capture the lips of Adonai, at the high point of P’or, ends not only in utter failure, but in a majestic oracle of Adonai describing a Star that will rise from Ya’akov, and a Scepter ordained to arise from Israel, to crush the corners of Mo’av! Finally, a curse is heard out of the lips of the Lord God Almighty!
This is the Lesson of the Lure of the Lost. The story of Balak shows how insidious and unrelenting is the evil of the enemy, for failures here and there do not deter his evil from finding another route to bring God’s people to their knees! Balak turned from spiritual to physical warfare by enticing the people, one by one, with human lures of Ba’al worship. Ba’al worship was phallic worship thought to move Ba’al to bring fertility and good fortune to the worshipper and their territory. The occultic, sexually perverse practices enticed people to fall deeply, until submerged by sin, like in Sodom and Gomorrah. Ultimately this practice, called an abomination by the Lord, encouraged the sacrifice of infants, to the molten mouth of the god, Molech.
This is the Lesson of the Lure of the Lost. In His goodness, Adonai uses the sins of His Nation to teach, warn and galvanize our minds and hearts in the lessons of the lure of a lost world. The enemy will use the spiritual and physical realm in tandem, to bring God’s people to their knees. May we learn, dear seeker! May we turn our faces like flint, from the culture of the day, to gaze upon His beauty.
During this holy rotation of Shabbat, may we speak bold truth, in love! With our God, the admonition is to faithfully choose LIFE!
May our desire be for His Ways, His Words, and His Blueprint!
May we carry the thread of the tapestry as far as this life allows, until we stand before Adonai still grasping the golden thread used to stitch our headpiece which reads:
Set Apart for Adonai!